It sounds all crazy and super scary at the same time, that after 4 weeks of precourse, tomorrow I will go to Makers and begin this amazing journey. I have been dreaming of this and yet it still feels like a dream. Over the last 2 weeks, I have finished many codewars, many homework we had assignments, including doing a pair programming task and my own CV on GitHub. It was all interesting, fun and a lot of new experience. I am super excited and looking forward to the coming weeks and months with these amazing people and amazing opportunities.
We arrived to week 2 at Makers, and our task is to finish some tutorials in Ruby so we can go further in our preparation. Since I have done a Lynda course and Chris Pine is not really my favourite I chose Learn Ruby The Hard Way, however this tutorial tastes a bit like the one for Python as since these languages are different, I am not sure this is the best approach, plus it is just loads of typing and copying and again, I feel like without Codewars this is pretty boring. So I am planning to finish up very quick and got onto another tutorial on the list, so I don’t feel like I am going backwards with learning about bloody strings again when I am nearly approaching 5kyu on Codewars and slaying the points for week 4 already :D.
Yesterday the first week of Makers PreCourse finished and I thought I share some of my experiences. First of, it was all about git, GitHub and the command line. Second, it was o much more, as I constantly had to fix my PC (yes, coding on Windows sucks) so I lost hours meanwhile trying to finish the task. Once I sorted the tracker and whatever else I needed it was a bit easier to proceed, but I think mainly because I did loads on Github already and I was halfway done with Git Immersion, so most things were not brand new (grep was kind of unused by me so I really enjoyed it). Plus the whole thing was about investigating and that is my fav kinda thing to do, a lot like coding but in a very fun way. Started Week2 just a few hours ago and I can feel that I got this, very excited to get on the actual course and rock Ruby and JS with awesome apps soon!
I clearly remember how excited and scared I was in May, when I was just contemplating the idea of applying for the ThoughtWorks & Makers Scholarship and how I will manage being unemployed for months and all that, but I applied anyway. Then studying began for the technical test at Makers, interview end of June and got accepted by mid-July, but I couldn’t afford the fee for Makers, so I was very sad and happy at the same time, as the scholarship was still open. Kinda heard things (gossip) about the scholarship criteria and was sure I won’t ever have a chance, even though I was sure I was definitely not a privileged one with the shittiest job and chances at that moment (having studied so much and trying so hard and in return not being appreciated at all, being paid so little while working at a psych ward where patients abuse you on a daily basis (my nose broke last May…), and management is the least supportive plus full of bullies – is no fun, if you like yourself just a bit, don’t do it, like ever!). So I was kind of really sad based on what I heard that I probably won’t make it.
Then EMF camp happened and I was more hopeful and I met so many sweet and smart people. I wa splanning to apply for other coding bootcamps (Founders and Coders, their motto is amazing and what they do is also truly remarkable) and then I had a lovely email from ThoughtWorks. I was very hopeful again, but I still knew there was so much more to make it actually.
Soon after on the 1st of August CFG Summer Bootcamp started and I was really excited to start building my media awareness app (still in progress, by mid next year I shall be done fully) so my mind was put off again. On the 8th I had a really sweet phone chat with Jade from ThoughtWorks and we agreed on meeting in person, I was like jeez, crazy excited and scared at the same time, I mean this was THE OPPORTUNITY of my life. So I prepared for the interview as good as I could and hoped for the best. The actual interview (August 11) took around 2-2.5 hrs, and I enjoyed it more than any interview ever before. Everybody was so kind and interested in my story, why coding was like therapy for me, how I got to coding and why I was so passionate. From this point on things really sped up, they told me on spot that I won the lottery of my life and got the scholarship, i think I was in proper shock as I had to ask Jade to send me an email later so I believe it. I was shaking, tearful I couldn’t even talk properly and all I wanted to do is shouting and screaming in happiness, I am still having moments when I feel like this is all just a dream, but then I wake up and it is actually real. I am sure this will stay the best day of my life for a very long time! Thank you ThoughtWorks and Makers Academy! I am on the November cohort with Makers and in the following posts you can read about my adventures there.
The scholarship and the rest of the story can be found here.
On Monday Makers pre-course started and we hit Git hard, so I’d like to take the opportunity and recommend another great tutorial for version control and git: Udacity.
The course I started and is totally free and you can find it here.
You can see a lot of videos, documents and quizzes, I personally don’t always like video tutorials but I was quite happy with this one. Documentation is great too and the way they explaing concepts is clear and to the point. Halfway through and feeling so much more confident with git and the basic concepts of version control, why we need it, why is it useful and how we can use it. So I would absolutely recommend to go for this course and do a lot of it (or all). If you are planning a career in tech, this is a must have skill.
This post is a bit of unusual one as it’s not about learning code but using a cool app. I’m trying to give a shout out for my talented friend Eve, who is involved in the making of this amazing app Tipple LND, to help you find the nearest place with a happy hour deal. I personally think it’s an amazing idea, and so needed in the scene of expensive London. So since I like to drink but also not spend much I am sure you will find this idea great too. Go on, give it a try:
Probably you saw dear reader that I keep extending my list of useful sites where you can learn to code for free, or learn useful skills that are super important if you are coding. One of these skills is Git [“is a version control system that is used for software development and other version control tasks. As a distributed revision control system it is aimed at speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows.” – Wikipedia].
You can learn Git on Codecademy too but I think Git Immersion is a bit more practical and makes you work way more. So the website, very useful as I said but also very annoying at some points, such as when it does not exactly specify what buttons to press to do certain things, so to save a stroke which I just had, here is an addition that is a tutorial for the tutorial, because why not. Happy gitting!
So MongoDB University is another great website for many many tutorials to learn MongoDB in depths, of course for free.
The full course catalog includes courses in general on MongoDB but targeting specific languages and frameworks. This website is a very practical one, especially if you started to think about building databases and collecting data. Another great thing about these courses is that you can actually receive a certificate for the completed lessons.
Basically think of this as a game, you keep clicking as it would be an adventure game and you keep going to explore and more details about the beauty of web design. It helped me greatly to put my CSS knowledge into place and revise what is what.
Also the site shares very important details and principles how to build a project or portfolio, so keep on reading and have fun clicking!
So the EMF camp happened and I’m still missing it, therefore I think a post would ease my pain till I get to go again. A few weeks ago on Codebar slack and among emails there was an opportunity to win tickets to the EMF camp so I applied and since I apply basically for everything I also forgot about it. Until I got an email from these lovely people to let me know that I actually won tickets. This is just amazing!!!! I was so happy! After all, EMF is a nerd camp with the best kind of people. I managed to borrow a tent, get a raincoat and sleeping bag for cheap and here I come! I was really excited to go and although I had a few ideas what it will look like and that I will get a really cool microcontroller badge I had no idea about the level of awesome I was about to enter. It’s like if I die I want heaven to be a bit like EMF but you know with proper bathrooms and beds.
So the camp. I arrived on Friday afternoon and after I set up my tent and drank my first wine in my cute little carabiner mug I was ready to go and attend talks and do workshops.
The number of interesting talks and workshops were overwhelming. Just to mention a few there were talks about medical imaging technologies such as MRI, the origin of the badge, the mathematics behind Simpsons, robotics, artificial intelligence, ethics in games and see robots. See the full list here. There were workshops for hacking, security and creative activities. You mostly had to choose between good or better or make a schedule to be everywhere. There was a really cool pub as well with many types of beer, for normal prices and very kind staff who were mostly volunteers. Huge thank you for them!
And the badge. Well, the badge was the highlight of all this. Not only is it the coolest microcontroller using python but it was also part of the tickets so you know, free. It had to be assembled together but after we did that you can start playing with it. It had a mini joystick and some basic built-in functions such as the schedule or app list and of course snake!! One of my favourite workshops was where I actually got to hack my badge and install a torch on it and solder the elements too! So I ended up making a working torch on my badge.
Another thing I must talk about is the lights and colours and installations people set up and brought to EMF. Amazing fairy lights all over the camp, we had 8bit disco with a mesmerizing light show and many more. Anywhere you went you just felt this was a bit like Christmas, but we had more beer and it was sooo hot all day.
This was the grid, it changed its colour from green to red and all in-between. Just beautiful.
This guy made the best double sided lightsaber I’ve ever seen! Well done!
So from workshop to talk and interesting chats we stopped sometimes to collect some freebies or chill and charge in the lounge or just explore the various villages. The weather was beautiful we had WiFi and power everywhere and a cool pub. What else do you need? The camp was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I definitely will go in 2018 again!